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Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

Source: (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

INDIANAPOLIS — Solving some of the problems of downtown Indianapolis is one of the goals of a new program introduced by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

It’s called the Downtown Collaborative Outreach Initiative: it’s a partnership with Downtown Indy Inc. to put more people on the ground, throughout Mile Square in downtown Indy, to connect with homeless people and try and get them the resources and support they need.

“We will hire six new outreach specialists,” says Mayor Hogsett in a Monday press conference, “they will be assigned to the Mile Square, and their focus will be the immediate needs of our neighbors who are unsheltered.”

The six new positions will be a 650-thousand-dollar investment, paid through a federal fund, on top of the multi-million-dollar investments in hiring more police officers, installing more police cameras, and hiring what the city calls “ambassadors”, which are people meant to connect homeless people with resources to get back on their feet.

Hogsett says these investments are meant to last long after he’s left office, “this is a decidedly focused effort on alleviating the challenges downtown faces as a result of the pandemic, and hopefully, will be a path to encouraging people to return to downtown.”

The Downtown Collaborative Outreach Initiative will last 18-months.